The Prisoner of Second Avenue

A promising opening, with Lemmon pitting his nervous energy against a New York heat wave. But a glance at the credits gives rise to a stifling feeling of over-familiarity: director from A Touch of Class, author (Neil Simon) of numerous well-oiled Broadway hits, guest actor (Saks) better known for directing film versions of those hits. It all adds up to one of those wisecracking comedies that move smoothly and predictably through set pieces dwelling on the frustrations of urban life and the toll exacted on Lemmon and Bancroft's middle class marriage. At least it confirms Anne Bancroft's latent talent for comedy, but otherwise there's little more than routine jokes like the day in the country, the relations, the buckets of water, the burglary, the TV dinners, and the glib touches of sentimentality that warn you the ending's coming up.

Release details

Duration: 105 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Melvin Frank
Screenwriter: Neil Simon
Cast: Jack Lemmon
Anne Bancroft
Gene Saks
Elizabeth Wilson
Florence Stanley
Maxine Stuart
Ed Peck
Sylvester Stallone
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